Tell us about the inspiration behind your latest body of work for Embedded?
I started this series nearly ten years ago, the two tryptcyhs in the exhibition were the starting point all that time ago. I decided to explore and expand on those works for this exhibition.
Overall the works are about our relationship with the earth. How we live on the earth and then we go back to the earth at the end of our life. They are landscapes on both a macro and micro scale, with the memories of one’s life embedded below the surface.
You have used a range of mediums in the artworks can you explain your process?
The works are charcoal drawings with layers of photography and etchings onto rice paper. I am an avid collector of images especially old photographs, I have transferred images onto rice paper or simply added the image to the work in a very layered approach, so they are not so obvious you really have to dive deep into the works to see all of the details.
Whether they are formal portraits or family holiday snaps they mark a moment in time. I have a strange connection to old photos and can “smell” the life of the person. Taken with care they convey a sense of love. In this digital age I think we are getting bombarded with images and not really taking the time to see and to really look.
There are text elements to the works also, can you explain where they came from?
I am fascinated with head stones and I rubbed charcoal over many gravestones around Sydney. We mark the passing of a life with a head stone and although it’s sentiments are formal it still offers a poignancy of a life lived. However they only give a small indication of the life lived which is both significant and insignificant compared to the magnitude of life.
Whilst there seems to be a lot in the works about death I see that they are also a celebration?
Absolutely! Whilst I want the works to remind us of our mortality. They are also to celebrate the symbols of life and the poignancy of time. These images are not about death or decay. They are not to be seen as sad or morbid. They are commemorations of lives gone before and those to come. We all die and the dust of our lives dissappears but never the less Embedded is a celebration of life and the memories left behind.
More photos from Mitzi Vardill's studio:
See all eleven artworks from Mitzi's Embedded series now.